Tropical Update: Tropical Storm Sandy Sets Course for Jamaica as a Hurricane (Updated 5 PM)

NHC 5-Day TS Sandy 10-23-2012 8AM

Tropical Storm Sandy is no longer stationary and is moving towards the north-northeast at 3 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.  Tropical storm force winds are extending outward from the center up to 90 miles.  A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch has been issued for Jamaica, and Haiti is still under a tropical storm watch. Tropical storm force winds are expected to reach Jamaica overnight followed by heavy rain.  The potential storm surge is expected to raise the 1 to 3 feet above normal tide levels along the southern and eastern coasts of Jamaica coupled with large and destructive waves.

TS Sandy is excepted to reach hurricane strength prior to making landfall in Jamaica on Wednesday.  The models show Sandy weakening back to a tropical storm after making landfall in Cuba on Thursday.  Although, no longer hurricane strength the maximum sustained winds are expected to be around 70 mph as she reaches the Central Bahamas early Friday morning.

The future forecast path shows the system turning to the north-northeast away from the Northern Bahamas.  While Castaway Cay, and Nassau look to be safe from a direct hit, the probability of tropical storm force winds remain around 35%.

NHC 5-Day TS Sandy Wind Probs 10-23-2012 8AM

Current and Future Cruise Implications

As of this this evening, Disney Cruise Line has not issued any Travel Advisories, as the system is still evolving. Rest assured that the safety of the Guests and crew is DCL’s top priority.

The Disney Fantasy is currently sailing on a 7-Night Eastern Caribbean and based on the current forecast track could encounter the system as the Fantasy makes her way to Castaway Cay on Friday. Friday’s weather forecast on Great Abaco is still calling for heavy rain and wind with a high of 82. The Disney Dream will encounter a similar forecast this Friday during her 3-Night Bahamian Cruise when she is scheduled to call on Nassau, and again Saturday at Castaway Cay.  Strong winds make docking at Castaway Cay unsafe.

Once the system interacts with Cuba’s southeast mountainous region we should get a better idea about any possible impacts to this weekend’s cruise schedule.

11AM Update

Tropical Storm Sandy has strengthened over the last few hours with winds reaching 50 mph, as she continues her heading towards Jamaica at 5 mph.  A hurricane watch has been issued for Jamaica as TS Sandy is 300 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica.  A hurricane watch has been issued for the south east region of Cuba.  Parts of the Central and Southeastern Bahamas are now under a tropical storm watch.

These latest watches do not include Nassau or Castaway Cay, but that may just be temporary as the latest GFSx model shows the system steering awfully close to Nassau.

GFSx Model Run 10-23-2012 Morning TS Sandy

5 PM Update

Tropical Storm Sandy is still on track for a collision with Jamaica on Wednesday.  TS Sandy is moving at 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.  Cuba  is now under a hurricane warning, Haiti is under a tropical storm warning, and almost all of the Bahamas are under a tropical storm watch this evening.

The outlook has taken a turn for the worse this afternoon with regards to this weekend’s cruises.  In fact, the problem is the future forecast no longer indicates a turn to the open waters of the Atlantic until after she passes over the Central and Northern Bahamas.

The probability of tropical storm force winds around Nassau and Castaway Cay have increase from 35%  this morning to 50-60%.

NHC 5-Day TS Sandy Winds 10-23-2012 5PM
Spaghetti Models TS Sandy 10-23-12 5PM

11 PM Update

NHC 5-Day TS Sandy 10-23-2012 11PM

Tropical Storm Sandy has strenthended since the 5 o’clock update. She is moving towards Jamaica on a north-northeast course at 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.

The Central Bahamas are now under a tropical storm warning.

23 Replies to “Tropical Update: Tropical Storm Sandy Sets Course for Jamaica as a Hurricane (Updated 5 PM)”

  1. Yamile

    Getting ready to fidn out if I can reschedule. I purchased the travel insurance. A frequent Disney cruiser told me that he had been on the ship during a storm and it was miserable.

  2. Sara Werner

    I have been on a cruise in horrible weather. Everyone sea sick. I am not looking forward to my whole family of 6 going on this cruise. We have insurance too. Unfortunately, it’s not an out for bad weather. Hope they cancel so we can reschedule! Why would you put so many people at risk.

  3. Courtney Wessner

    I completely agree, Sara! I have been sick over this since learning of the storm on Sunday evening. There appears to be no way to avoid rough waters. My fear is having a bad experience, due to rough seas, that results in us never booking a future cruise.

      1. Ohn

        That’s kinda b.s.ive paid thousands to see foreign paradises not the east coast I live on it….please disney don’t do us dirty

  4. Dave

    I do not think that is fair to travelers who have paid thousands of dollars to cruise and not go to Castaway Cay/Bahamas. I realize Disney hates to lose money, but I would hate to head up the east coast when I am heading down the east coast to get on the ship!

    1. Dave

      For those that have insurance, I have been told if you cancel the claim will be denied but Disney will use your funds minus the cost of insurance towards a future cruise. Not sure how that is fair to those who haven’t purchased insurance. Live and learn.

  5. Nancy

    I really feel bad for first time disney cruisers. Being a travel agent I have encountered some bad weather especially in Alaska. It looks like we are going to have some rough seas this weekend. I myself will be going on the Dream departing Thursday. Captain Henry will steer us clear of any rough weather and if at all possible will get us to Castaway Cay. As of right now that possibility does not look good. If you get seasick you might want to try and get your money put towards another cruise at a later date. It would be great if we could go to the Florida Keys. Think about this, how many people truly get off the ship in Nassau? I know new cruisers might want to, but not many repeat cruisers get off the ship in Nassau. I hope we all have a safe and calm cruise.

  6. eric

    im all ready nervous about getting sea sick and now knowing we will have bad weather is not what i want to hear. dont understand why they would want a big portion of people being sick. also being at sea for the whole time is not what i paid for. very dissapointed. will probably be my last time booking a cruise.

  7. Sara Werner

    As long as they can enter and leave ports, I think the cruise will go on. If it makes anyone feel better, we would probably stay at sea all 3 days but I was told today by our travel agent that we could also head toward the Gulf of Mexico. That would make me feel better.

  8. Dave

    Being on the ships before I know the best time on the ship is when you are in port and everyone is off the ship. I can not imagine 3 days at sea with the tiny pool packed with people. Trying to keep my son positive, but it is all about Castaway Cay for him. He was sick to death on a Disney cruise in February, so this was his make up. Not much luck here.

    1. Nancy

      I agree with you ,the best time on the ship is when it is in port. Less crowded, especially around the pool areas. I feel for your son Castaway Cay is fantastic. Can you reschedule your cruise? On a brighter note the cruise is not sold out. And I can imagine that a few people are thinking twice about going.

  9. Sara Werner

    We loved getting off the ship in the past but the shows were awesome too! In rough waters though, even that is hard to do! We are bringing ginger tablets and candy! Heard it really works wonders for seasickness…

    1. Nancy


      Sea bands work great with no side effects. Pick a few pairs up for your family. You can find them at your local Walgreens or CVS. They worked for me during our cruise to Alaska where the seas were right up to the life boats . People were falling out of bed,and many,many people were sick. Lets keep our fingers crossed that we will all be OK and have a great cruise.

  10. Dave

    Thanks Nancy! I was told we have no option but to go or lose all of the money paid. I did not get the insurance. My wife is terrified because she gets sick even with a little rocking. Almost like being held hostage!

  11. YJ

    We’re all on the same boat. It’s my first cruise with my wife and 7 year daughter. Since we didn’t get the insurance, no options. Hopefully we could head toward more easy ocean.
    My daugther has already packed her stuff. Let’s get the sea bands now!

  12. Marie

    Hello All,

    So is this the best place to find updates or is there another site I should be checking? My daughter, my mother and I arrived in Florida this evening and are devastated by the news. Moms gets seasick pretty easily and we don’t have enough money to opt for a long stay in the land of Disney instead! Of course, I did not buy insurance…..lesson learned:-( Anyone have real life experience with pressing them for a refund and suceeding?

  13. John

    I am leaving Thursday as well I really don’t want to be at sea for three days that’s not what I paid for I really hope they have a solution for this fiasco

  14. Diana

    It’s weather folks, and contrary to popular belief, Disney cannot control it. :/ My daughter flew in from Maine yesterday to join us on the cruise tomorrow and we are all excited about what we’re calling the Dream Mystery Cruise! We have our Sea Bands, we’re going to be on a cruise ship, and we’re thrilled!


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